The Duff – Kody Keplinger

“This was getting old.
Once again, Casey and Jessica were making complete fools of themselves, shaking their asses like dancers in a rap video. But I guess guys eat that shit up, don’t they?”

Bianca is a smart, sassy, sarcastic 17 year old. Her two best friends are drop dead gorgeous booby, leggy blondes but it doesn’t both her that she’s a short brunette with small boobs. Until Welsey Rush – the schools gorgeous preppy womanizer tells her that shes The DUFF of the group – The Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend. She appauled at him, she hated him before but that is just going too far. Storming away from him she tells herself that she won’t let what he thinks affect her; but she will. With other aspects of her life tumbling out of control she finds herself seeking comfort from the arms of Wesley himself, even though she still hates him, honest.

***


I loved this book, its thought-provoking and truly realistic. I’d say I cant believe that the authr was only 17 when she wrote it – but Id be lying, I can totally believe it because its so relatable and so real that only someone who sees this kind of thing every day could have written it!
Its not a nice story. Bianna finds herself trying to escape the loss of control in her life by throwing herself at Welsey, literally. She uses him for sex because he’s there and doesn’t say no and it becomes quite an additiction for her. She starts to believe what he said, thinking of herself as the Duff and he carries on calling her Duffy and Duff which doesn’t help. I found it fascinating that a YA book could cover this kind of thing so well because I know from experience that it does happen, young people do throw themselves at guys and girls just because it makes them feel better about the other shit that’s happening in their lives. This was such a raw book for me and I related to Bianca so much, I just wish it was around when me and my friends were a bit younger.
The characters are incrediable, Bianca has so much going on that you really can’t blame her for any of what’s happening. I loved Casey and Jessica as friends and even side characters like Toby, Amy and Vicky were fully formed, Amy appeared about three times and yet I knew her, I understood why she was the way she was and I liked her, I really wanted everything to be ok for her. Wesley was a guy you were meant to hate and at first I did, but I think the story works so well because of how much you get to know him and I loved him by the end – but of course I hated him still too!  The only character I really didn’t like was Bianca’s mum. I think she was a bit selfish and didn’t handle things appropriately but I guess at the same time it shows that adults can be flawed and have issues that they need to deal with too.
I loved how confident Bianca could be, I’m not saying she was because obviously things went wrong and in parts of the book she wasn’t at all confident but I love why she ended up and I felt for her throughout the whole story. I wanted to be friends with Bianca cause I knew she’d be straight with me and I loved her for that. She really did need to open up a bit though and I think another thing that could be taken from this book is that age old cliché – a problem shared is a problem halved.
I want this book to be a major feature in all librarys and teen bookshelves. I need this book to be written by teens everywhere bcause I think it cover such important topics and things that need to be addressed. Im not going to lie, it’s a harsh book and its full of swearwords and sex and generally not very nice things but all older teens need to read this book.
The Duff will be published on April 5th by Hodder Childrens Books. My copy was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this has in no way affected my thoughts. Please note that the above quote was taken from a proof copy and may differ from the published version.
  • Bianca was an amazing character. She really was strong and dealt with the whole DUFF thing really well. I was surprised by Kody’s age too. Very fresh and original voice.

  • wow I can’t believe she was 17 when she wrote this! I wasn’t sure about this when it came out in the US but I think now I want to read it. Great review

    The Cait Files

  • I desperately want to read this! Thank you for the brilliant review.

  • I really want to read this – I’ve seen so many great reviews (like this one) about it, I don’t know if I can hold off much longer!

  • I wasn’t entirely sure I’d like this one, Raimy! But you’re review has convinced me to give it a go!

    Great review. 🙂